Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop
August 13–16, 2018

The ACAWorkshop offers industry experts the freedom to collaborate in an exploratory environment – alternately guiding the design of facade solutions and contributing knowledge and experience to focus on the bioclimatic function of terra cotta.


Representatives of industry and academia from around the world gather in Buffalo, NY for the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop, presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and supported by the UB Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART).

ACAW-2017-Workshop_1200x800_03The workshop’s objective is to introduce and consider the properties of terra cotta earlier in the architect’s design process and to develop research and design models between manufacturing and architectural industries useful to the efficient production of facade solutions.

Methods of study vary from research and experimentation to modeling, rapid prototyping and construction of terra cotta units. With access to Boston Valley’s 3D CAD/CAM technology including RHINO software, CNC machining, and 5-axis routing, as well as their forming capabilities of architectural terra cotta – slip cast, hand press, RAM press and extrusion – participants have a unique opportunity to produce physical prototypes to theoretical studies.

Through pre-design and prototype development, teams’ exploration includes the use of new digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies, the development of unitized façade systems, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta (through-body color, finish and glaze) can inform and enhance a façade’s bioclimatic performance.

The ACAWorkshop culminates in a weeklong event, with teams constructing system models from their prototypes, and presenting their studies to peers in the industry.

Check out our News section for articles about past ACAWorkshops. To see past explorations, look at photos and video about our workshop last year and our inaugural event.

2018 Teams

  • AECOM

  • Sasaki / Studio NYL

  • Morphosis

  • Radical/Matter

  • SHoP Architects

  • University at Buffalo

Check the 2018 Event Site to view this year’s schedule and event details.

Keynote Speaker

Christopher Sharples, AIA

Principal, SHoP Architects

Christopher Sharples is a Principal of SHoP with a focus on cultural projects and master planning. He has earned a reputation as a thoughtful leader of his generation of innovative architects and a powerful advocate for design quality and community values in contemporary city-building.

Chris holds Bachelor of History and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from Dickinson College, and his Master of Architecture from Columbia University, graduating with honors for excellence in design. Chris leads many of SHoP’s significant projects including the South Street Seaport District, Uber’s Headquarters in San Francisco, and the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum master plan in New York.

Join Us Thursday, August 16th

@ The Hotel Henry in Buffalo, New York

Teams will present their solutions developed during the workshop followed by the keynote address delivered by Christopher Sharples, AIA, Principal of SHoP Architects.
Team presentations begin at 3:00pm, followed by the keynote at 5:30pm.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Even if you aren’t attending, stay up to date with what’s happening at the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop.

Presented By: